Playing Years at NOBSPC: 1988-
Numbers Worn: 54 & 3
Premierships & Grand Finals Played in: donuts
In a paragraph or two, give a brief overview of your time at NOBSPC as a player & supporter:
In view of the fact that I attended St. Joseph’s CBC Nth Melb I was recruited on that basis & my journey started as an U19 player & have progressed through the ranks accordingly. Nearly 20 years on I still find myself drawn to the club albeit Club 18 and suffice to say that the club has had a tremendous influence on my life. I have been fortunate enough to commence my playing days at “Brens Oval” with some of the legends of the club such as Bruno Conti and as the club has evolved & relocated to Brunswick I have witnessed numerous changes & phases that the club has endured.
Most Memorable NOBSPC Games played & watched:
– First senior game back in 1989 I was called up from the U19s and very lean & green at the time playing against Collegians in A Grade at Harry Trott Oval & being overwhelmed & not really realising that I was playing with the likes of Conti, Egan, Hanlon, Considine, O’Rourke, Boyd, Cahill, Jones, Hibbert’s & Co.
– Paul Booth’s 200th game at Elsternwick Park which I was privileged to have played in. I can remember some extraordinary events in that game. One thing that comes to mind is Joe Saad’s goal set shot from the centre circle (drop punt mind you which sailed through goal post high !) It was fitting that we won as nobody deserved it more than “Smooth”.
– Playing against Old Brighton one year coach Dunell had decided that we would need to front up earlier than usual in view of our poor form and all the players suspected that we would have to take a pre-game dip in the icy cold waters across the road from the oval. True to his form Frank Dunell demanded that every player submerge themselves in, otherwise they would find themselves out of the side, so despite the obvious dilemma of shrinkage we all plunged ourselves into the ocean. Only problem being that after the swim there was still a lengthy time until the first bounce, so inevitably hunger set in and notably Barker, Cheshire & Co found a local takeaway and presided to feast on greasies, dimmies etc. At half time Dunell’s plan seemed to have worked because even though we were underdogs we held the ascendancy by a healthy margin of about 6-8 goals so we thought we were a real chance but after halftime the lactic acid (or more appropriately the “fatty acids”) set in and we were blown away by a 10 goal margin !
– Senior game against Old Paradians the old foe. These tussles were always like going to war and in fact at Gillon Oval this game had been in the balance all day. I had in fact copped an elbow to the head early in the game & heard a crack but refused to go off as the year before I had suffered a broken nose from the same match. We managed to win the game in a typical bruising encounter & I later learned that I fractured my cheekbone which ended my season prematurely.
Greatest Memory from your time playing or supporting at NOBSPC:
Without doubt the personalities & characters such as Fog, Perrone, Fuzz, Robbo, Devine, Connolly… that come to mind and the numerous tales they shared, as well as the quality football personnel that I have been fortunate to play for – Hanneberry, Hyde, Dunell, Foulds.
Preseason Training Camps at Fairhaven were always enjoyable – I remember one year where we all ventured down to the Lorne Hotel to carve it up & it was always challenging to work out a way back to our base camp (approx 20kms) especially after too many ales, so anybody willing to drive was like gold. On one occasion we managed to cram I reckon about 15 blokes in Justin Talbot’s sedan car including a few U19 players tucked away in the boot ! It was an interesting ride home that’s for sure.
Biggest Disappointment/Lowlights whilst at NOBSPC:
Would have to be missing out on several finals campaigns due to injury. My timing through injury was always impeccable as it seemed to happen everytime we were entering a finals campaign. This is probably why I am still involved as a Club 18 player in my chase to grab that elusive flag.
Relegation from A Grade then from B Grade although we were always up against it as the stronger & more successful clubs have a massive network of talent to recruit from, especially as we are now more of a local suburban football club based in Brunswick.
Captained the U19’s, twice B&F U/19 and U’19 VAFA Competition B&F & various Club 18 awards.
Best Players played with & seen at NOBSPC and why:
Bruno Conti – Mr VAFA who always made the game look simple
Ben Jordan – Ben Cousins like, fantastic skills & endurance (pity he didn’t play more games for NOBS)
Mathew Hyde – awesome skills & great reader of the game
Brett Collison – raking left foot (Scotty Lucas type), strong leader, reliable & very humble
Tony Egan – fearless never say die approach, superb skills, white line fever (I even feared him as a teammate !)
Paul Considine – best ruckman in the VAFA of his era.
Paul Booth – big motor & very evasive (I don’t think I ever saw him get tackled)
Tim Jones – superb midfielder with silky skills.
Luke Boyle – uncanny knack of finding the goals, a matchwinner !
Shannon Mikunda – not the most skillfull but boy could he take a hanger !
Best opponents in the Ammo’s played against or seen:
Always tough against Old Paradians as well as St Bernards – fierce rivalry !
What do you like best about NOBSPC?
Never have any regrets about playing at the one club – never considered playing elsewhere as the club has always had a fantastic network of people, always allowing the players to concentrate on one thing – playing games of football ! That is probably why I am still involved as a player as it is great to see the amalgamation with St Pat’s which will hopefully secure our success for the future and see the club steadily climb back to A Grade.